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“When eating fruit or honey, remember the one who planted the tree and flower.” ~ Author unknown

While working on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, I met a man who worked coast-to-coast—traveling from NYC to LA multiple times a year. He was in his 50s, a world traveler, and very intelligent. He had come seeking spiritual healing through what the Lakota tribe calls “Hanbleceya”. The English literal translation is “Crying for a Vision”.  He deeply wanted to hear what God asked of him at this mid-stage of life.

          I was assigned to help this kind and gentle man. Upon hearing his quest for God, one of the things that stood out to me was that he, in his entire life, had never put his bare feet upon the grass or naked earth. He said that he was uncomfortable being barefoot even in his house. He kept shoes beside his bed so that before placing his feet to the floor he could shoe them.

My heart broke for this man. He’d never known the glory and healing of nature in the way that God intended. Thankfully, he trusted me enough to let me loosen his laces and remove both his shoes and socks.

I was already barefoot. I led him up a steep hill where we sat upon the bare grass for some hours getting to know one another.

One of my horses, Rusty the True—who I do not shoe—, ran loose on the reservation, and at times I didn’t see him all day—until evening grain time. On that day, Rusty came charging up the hill and stood over this man with his nose lightly touching the man’s head.

The man wept as I have rarely seen a man weep. In this manner, the man’s healing journey began.

I love God’s gift of nature, and I spend as much time in it as possible.

Thankfully, John does as well. John loves and cares for our entire menagerie, as well as being God’s watchkeeper over the land. He is a constant source of companionship and connection with God, his gift of nature, and me. In the evening after a long day’s work, John usually strolls out to the barnyard. Chief always comes running to him also seeking connection.

While it is post-Thanksgiving week, I thought, “Many of us celebrate Easter Monday so let’s not forget, while “the day” is past, the need for gratitude remains deeply planted in our hearts.”. And, nature is one of the best ways to be filled and renewed with gratitude.

For extra nature pleasure, enjoy this short video:

Love, your sister along the journey,

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